[Interview] Keith Wright, director of ‘Harold’s Going Stiff’ talks zombification.
Author: Lisha Blackhurst
Last week I got the chance to catch up with Keith Wright, director of British zombie movie Harold’s Going Stiff, to talk about upcoming projects, horror movies and zombiefication!
Hi Keith, welcome to Elite! What have you been up to recently?
I’ve been writing and developing a lot of scripts recently and trying to get films off the ground, one of which I hope will happen pretty soon. And the good news is they’re all horror movies. The one I’m hoping to get going first is called Chuffing Hell, a Yorkshire set comedy/horror. People can get updates over at www.chuffinghell.com.
– Harold’s Going Stiff was a unique take on the zombie genre – what inspired you to take such a distinctive approach?
There were already plenty of gory-gut-munching-zombie-films out there fighting for attention, so I wanted to try something different in order to stand out from the crowd. The idea of someone becoming slowly zombified meant we could play it as a more personal drama interjected with some quirky Yorkshire humour. We were never sure if it would work, but fans and critics seemed to like the direction we took.
– What are some of your favourite zombie movies?
I really like the early George Romero ones such as Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, they were benchmark movies that managed to do more than just horrify, they had something to say about the human condition. And for the sheer fun of it, I’m also a big fan of Re-Animator.
– Harold’s Going Stiff is extremely heart-warming; what movies have managed to bring a tear to your eye?
The Elephant Man always gets me. Especially the ‘cup of tea scene’ when Merrick is introduced to Treves’ wife. I find it tough to get through that film without welling up.
– What are some of your favourite British horror films and what do you think the UK can bring to the genre that the US often doesn’t?
The Wicker Man (1973) is an all time favourite of mine, I love the odd tone and the way it builds to that shock ending, it’s still as effective today. More recent favourites are The Descent and Kill List. I think British culture and our climate is the one thing that makes our films stand out, and we really don’t have any problem poking fun at ourselves which is refreshing – Shaun of the Dead being an excellent example.
– Finally, is there anything you would like to share with Elite readers?
Enjoy more horror movies…